January 18, 2006

OK, this is freakin insane

Turns out that two disgruntled ex-Tories have alleged to Elections Canada that the Blogging Tories are a Conservative Party conspiracy to contravene campaign spending laws and influence the national election:

Canada's election watchdog received a complaint Tuesday morning from a disaffected party member who claims the Tories tried to sway political opinion in cyberspace in the leadup to, and during, the election by setting up the popular "Blogging Tories" website.

The site appears to be a coalition of like-minded individuals who have met in cyberspace to share their political opinions and express their frustrations with Paul Martin's Liberals.

But a Victoria, man, Eugene Parks, and Toronto Tory dissident Carole Jamieson allege the venture may be in contravention of the Elections Act and third-party financing laws. They say it may have "unduly influenced the election coverage and potentially the outcome of this campaign." . . .

Third-party election financing laws state that it is illegal for a group to spend more than $150,000 during an election period related to a general election. It can also spend no more than $3,000 of that money "to promote or oppose the election of one or more candidates in a given electoral district."

[Full Story]

Hilarious. Apparently, I'm supposed to believe that the Blogging Tories didn't exist before December 2005, notwithstanding the evidence of my own eyes. I guess all those bloggers who have spent precisely $0 on their blogs have overspent their campaigns, assuming they are actively participating in one.

Eugene Parks and Carole Jamieson, this DIM BULB du jour is for you. Your attack on free speech makes the recent Liberal advertising campaign look downright reasonable. While we're at it, let's deliver a gross of dim bulbs to the Liberal Party for their attempt to make hay out of this non-issue.

(H/T: RootleWeb.)